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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

DOTC: Transport Agencies On Full Alert, Heighten Safety Preparations For Typhoon Yolanda


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With the coming arrival of Typhoon Yolanda – expected to pack winds at 200 kilometers per hour upon landfall on Friday – the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and all its sectoral and attached agencies are now on Level 3 or Full Alert Status, which entails a heightened implementation of safety and security measures for travelers especially in the Visayas region.

According to various weather forecasts, Typhoon Yolanda will make landfall over the Samar-Leyte area by noon on Friday, 8 November 2013, and is expected to traverse westward across Regions 6, 7, and 8 until it exits the PAR sometime Saturday evening to Sunday morning.

“Safety is always our priority. We want to have the least number of casualties possible, and we placed all transport agencies on Full Alert Status precisely to ensure that,” said DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya.

Each agency has its own emergency plans and protocols, including increased safety inspections, enhancing provisions for affected passengers, and deploying patrol vehicles and quick response teams.

The transport agencies will be securing vessels and aircrafts at ports and airports, closely monitoring the situation to decide if and when it is necessary to suspend or cancel trips, and providing crucial real-time reporting to the public.

The DOTC emphasized the value of real-time information dissemination to the public as well as to transport operators, to enable faster and better decision-making for both authorities and the public.

With the possibility of suspensions and cancellations of transport services in the air, land, and sea sectors during the typhoon’s visit, promptly alerting authorities, operators, and travelers will enable them to change or cancel their travel plans under risky circumstances. This should greatly reduce the possibility of loss and injury due to the weather disturbance.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has also deployed 40 rubber boats and 30 aluminum boats to its substations in the Visayas for emergency rescue operations.

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